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107 Texting Statistics That Answer All Your Questions

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UPDATED JANUARY 24, 2019

This texting statistics page has been one of our all-time best performing pages. People like you clearly have a lot of questions about text messaging, so we’re going to make this page even more helpful.

If all you care about are the numbers, keep scrolling. You’ll see facts and figures divvied up by category. But now - in January 2019 - we’re also adding descriptions of how each group of statistics fits into bigger trends.

We’ll cover:

  • How much people text
  • How texting compares to other mobile activities
  • How texting fits into business, and more

Then we'll tell you what these stats mean, and why they matter (if they matter at all). Sources are given next to each stat, and then linked to at the end of the section. Ready to dig in?

How many people text?

1. There are over 5,035,000,000 (5.035 billion) texters in the world. (GSMA Intelligence)

2. There are approximately 277,000,000 (277 million) “texters” in the United States (not including children 12 years old and younger). (Text Request)

3. At least 97% of smartphone owners text regularly. (Pew Research Center)

Sources: GSMA Intelligence, Text Request, Pew Research Center

Global Mobile Market

PC: GSMA Intelligence

Text messaging is ubiquitous. In fact, one report from 2012 even said there were more people in the world who sent text messages than who had electricity in their homes!

The cell phone has dramatically changed the way we interact with each other, and it’s not just a Western thing. Sometimes it's hard to believe the first cell phone was sold in 1983, and the first text was sent just in 1992!

Related: The History and Evolution of the Smartphone (1992 - 2018)

How many texts do people send?

4. Americans send roughly 26,033,333,333 (26 billion) text messages every day. (Statistic Brain)

5. Americans send roughly 182,233,333,333 (182.2 billion) text messages every week. (Statistic Brain)

6. Americans send roughly 781,000,000,000 (781 billion) text messages every month. (Statistic Brain)

7. Americans send roughly 9,372,000,000,000 (9.4 trillion) text messages every year. (Statistic Brain)

8. On average, each American sends and receives 94 text messages per day. (Text Request)

9. On average, each American sends and receives 658 text messages per week. (Text Request)

10. On average, each American sends and receives 2,819 text messages per month. (Text Request)

11. On average, each American sends and receives 33,834 text messages per year. (Text Request)

12. 1,084,722,222 texts are sent every hour in the United States. (Statistic Brain)

13. 18,078,704 texts are sent every minute in the United States. (Statistic Brain)

14. 301,312 texts are sent every second in the United States. (Statistic Brain)

Sources: Statistic Brain Research Institute, Text Request

How Many Texts Are Sent

What’s interesting is that the number of cell phone owners in the U.S. has not grown much in the last few years, but we’re sending more messages. The way people choose to communicate has shifted a lot over the last decade or so, but I’ll cover that more below.

Related: 101 Reasons You Might Text Someone Today

What about WhatsApp and other messaging apps?

15. Apple handles about 40 billion iMessage notifications per day worldwide. (Business Insider)

16. At peak rates, Apple handles about 200,000 messages per second. (Business Insider)

17. Worldwide, iPhone users send and receive about 53 messages per day, on average. (Text Request)

18. Android handles approximately 40 billion text messages per day, worldwide. (Text Request)

19. More than 65 billion messages are sent through WhatsApp every day. (CNet)

20. More than 455 billion messages are sent through WhatsApp every week. (CNet)

21. About 1,950,000,000,000 (1.95 trillion) messages are sent through WhatsApp every month. (CNet)

22. About 23,500,000,000,000 (23.5 trillion) messages are sent through WhatsApp every year. (CNet)

Sources: Business Insider, Text Request, CNet

WhatsApp Messages Sent Per Day

PC: Statista

Texts used to all be sent as SMS (short messaging system) messages. Now, most texts use a different kind of signal to transfer data - WiFi, for instance.

We can fit a lot more data into these signals, which is why we can now send videos, GIFs and other multimedia through our messaging apps. But it means that tracking data and the number of messages sent has gotten a lot more difficult.

How many texts do teenagers send?

23. American teenagers send and receive 67 text messages per day, on average. (Pew Research Center)

24. American teenagers send and receive 469 text messages per week, on average. (Pew Research Center)

25. American teenagers send and receive 2,010 text messages per month, on average. (Pew Research Center)

26. American teenagers send and receive 24,120 text messages per year on average. (Pew Research Center)

27. The median (typical) number of text messages an American teenager sends and receives every day is 30. (Pew Research Center)

28. The median (typical) number of text messages an American teenager sends and receives every week is 210. (Pew Research Center)

29. The median (typical) number of text messages and American teenager sends and receives every month is 900. (Pew Research Center)

30. The median (typical) number of text messages an American teenager sends and receives every year is 10,800. (Pew Research Center)

Source: Pew Research Center

Teens Favorite Way to Communicate

PC: Common Sense Media

Adults tend to text to set something up - coordinate schedules, share an update, check a fact, etc. Normally, you'll leave in-depth conversations for in-person meetings, phone calls, or - if necessary - emails. Teens do the opposite.

They’ll have lengthy conversations for hours at a time via text - not everyone, but enough to generalize. Part of this is because teens are generally more social. As a percentage of communication, teens and adults text about the same. Teens are just more active.

Related: How Many Texts Do People Send Every Day (2018)?

How has text messaging grown?

31. The number of texts sent each day in America has grown 23% since 2016. It’s the same growth rate for texts sent each week, month, and year. (Statistic Brain Research Institute)

32. The number of texts sent each day in America has grown by 216% since 2010. It’s the same growth rate for texts sent each week, month, and year. (Statistic Brain Research Institute)

33. The number of texts sent each day in American has grown by 10,772% since 2005. It’s the same growth rate for texts sent each week, month, and year. (Statistic Brain Research Institute)

Source: Statistic Brain Research Institute

Text Messaging and Smartphone Timeline

Texting has grown the same way most technologies do. The first text was sent in December 1992, but commercial (person-to-person) texting started in 1994.

At the time, it was just a cool thing that a handful of people could do - and it wasn’t easy to do either. Remember T9 texting? That didn’t come for another four years.

But like any tech, texting got easier and more accessible. Pretty soon it was “just how teens communicate.” Then those teens grew up. Then parents and grandparents realized it was the only way they could reach their kids and grandkids.

In 2012, texting became the most used form of communication, and it’s only grown since.

How much time do people spend texting?

34. American spend as much as 55 minutes a day texting. (Text Request)

35. Americans spend 2X more time texting than emailing on their phones. (Text Request)

36. The average smartphone user goes through half a gig (0.5 GB) of data every month on messaging. (Ericsson)

37. The average smartphone user is expected to use nine-tenths of a gig (0.9 GB) of data every month on messaging by 2024. (Ericsson)

38. American Millennials spend 3X more time texting than calling or emailing on their cell phones. (RealityMine, AdWeek)

39. College students spend an average of 94.6 minutes texting per day. (PsychCentral)

40. The average 12th grader spends approximately 2 hours per day texting. (Psychology of Popular Media, MarketWatch)

41. 68% of Millennials admit to texting “a lot” on a daily basis. (Gallup)

Sources: Text Request, Ericsson, RealityMine and AdWeek, PsychCentral, Psychology of Popular Media and MarketWatch, Gallup

Text is the Most Used Feature on a Smartphone

People spend more time texting than they do a lot of other tasks throughout the day. Depending on the context, that can be good (texting for updates instead of going to meetings), bad (texting friends and family for conversations instead of choosing to see them), or even neutral (texting instead of emailing).

How does text messaging compare to other smartphone features?

42. Messaging is the #1 reported use of smartphones. (Axway, MarketingCharts)

43. 70% of smartphone owners say messaging is one of the top 5 uses of their device. That’s at least 13% higher than any other feature. (Axway, MarketingCharts)

44. Text messaging is the most frequently used smartphone feature. (Pew Research Center)

Top 5 Ways Smartphone Owners Use Their Devices

PC: MarketingCharts

45. SMS makes up 85% of total mobile messaging. (RealityMine, AdWeek)

46. Texting makes up 33% of Millennials’ mobile usage. (RealityMine, AdWeek)

47. In general, women spend more time texting than men. (RealityMine, AdWeek)

48. Text messaging takes up 35% of mobile phone use for American women 18-34 years old. (RealityMine, AdWeek)

49. Text messaging takes up 27% of mobile phone use for American women 35-44 years old. (RealityMine, AdWeek)

50. Text messaging takes up 27% of mobile phone use for American women 45-54 years old. (RealityMine, AdWeek)

51. Text messaging takes up 22% of mobile phone use for American women 55-64 years old. (RealityMine, AdWeek)

52. Text messaging takes up 30% of mobile phone use for American men 18-34 years old. (RealityMine, AdWeek)

53. Text messaging takes up 26% of mobile phone use for American men 35-44 years old. (RealityMine, AdWeek)

54. Text messaging takes up 20% of mobile phone use for American men 45-54 years old. (RealityMine, AdWeek)

55. Text messaging takes up 17% of mobile phone use for American men 55-64 years old. (RealityMine, AdWeek)

Sources: Axway and MarketingCharts, Pew Research Center, RealityMine and AdWeek

How Much of Smartphone Time is Spent on Texting

Smartphones are highly sophisticated computers - we take for granted how much technology is packed into our pockets - but we still primarily use them for communication. That is changing, though.

Gaming and video streaming on smartphones has been skyrocketing the past few years, and that’s likely to keep growing.

Related: How Much Time Do People Spend on Their Mobile Phones in 2018?

How does text messaging help customer conversions?

56. Traditional SMS verification conversion rates hover around 65% globally. (Nexmo)

57. Texting a prospect after initial contact can increase conversion rates by 112.6%. (Leads360, Crazy Egg)

58. Sending 3 or more follow-up text messages to prospects increases conversions by as much as 328%. (Leads360, Crazy Egg)

Number of Texts to Send in Sales

PC: CrazyEgg

59. The average SMS campaign conversion rate is 45%. (Salesforce)

60. SMS verification conversion rates can be as high as 85%. (Salesforce)

61. SMS verification conversion rates are 250% higher than email verification. (Salesforce)

62. Text message response rates are 209% higher than phone call response rates. (FranchiseHelp, Text Request)

63. Text message confirmations convert 295% more than phone call confirmations. (FranchiseHelp, Text Request)

Sources: Nexmo, Leads360 and CrazyEgg, Salesforce, FranchiseHelp and Text Request

It seems pretty clear - texting customers increases conversions across the board. The question is why? Here’s the answer.

Texts stand out. The average person receives far fewer texts than emails in a day, they’re more likely to have notifications turned on for texts than emails, and texts are less likely to be caught in filters than emails. This is particularly important since most people won’t even answer phone calls.

Texts should not be your business’s first point of contact, but you should follow up with contacts via text after they’ve connected with you. The data say you’d be crazy not to.

Related: 5 Essential Tips for Successful SMS Lead Generation

How do people prefer to communicate day-to-day?

64. Text messaging is 3-8X more preferred than face-to-face communication across all generations. (Twilio)

65. 3 in 10 people say they would give up phone calls to still be able to text. (Twilio)

66. 2 in 10 people say they would give up their morning coffee to still be able to text. (Twilio)

67. 1 in 10 people say they would give up sex to still be able to text. (Twilio)

What People Are Willing to Give Up to Text

PC: Twilio

68. 75% of Millennials would choose a text-only phone over a voice-only phone. (OpenMarket)

69. Text messaging is the #1 communication channel for teen smartphone users. (Common Sense Media)

70. Text messaging is the #1 preferred communication channel for Millennials. (Forbes)

71. 94% of people would rather get voicemail by email or text. (VoicemailOffice)

72. 91% of people who text prefer text to voicemail. (RingCentral, Text Request)

73. Text messaging is the #1 preferred form of communication. (Independent, Gallup, DialMyCalls)

74. Texting is the most frequently used form of communication among Americans younger than 50 years old. (Gallup)

Sources: Twilio, OpenMarket, Common Sense Media, Forbes, VoicemailOffice, RingCentral and Text Request, Independent, Gallup, DialMyCalls

Convenience might just be the biggest motivator we experience. Look at communication through the years, and you’ll see that each next step in technology helps us do less and less to communicate.

Writing letters, buying postage, and walking to the post office has turned into pulling out a phone and typing a few words. There’s a smaller barrier to communicating via text than other forms, so texting has become the new default way to communicate.

How do people prefer to communicate with businesses?

75. 90% of people say they’d rather receive a text than a phone call from a business. (Franchise Help,Text Request)

76. Only 10% of people say they’d rather receive a phone call than a text from a business. (Franchise Help,Text Request)

77. 89% of people would like to text with businesses. (Twilio)

78. Text messaging is the #1 preferred channel for customer service in the U.S. (Twilio)

79. 33% of Americans rank messaging at their preferred channel for customer service. (Twilio)

80. 31% of Americans 18-24 years old prefer messaging with a business over all other channels. (Twilio)

81. 32% of Americans 25-34 years old prefer messaging with a business over all other channels. (Twilio)

82. 31% of Americans 35-44 years old prefer messaging with a business over all other channels. (Twilio)

83. 24% of Americans 45-54 years old prefer messaging with a business over all other channels. (Twilio)

84. 24% of Americans 55+ years old prefer messaging with a business over all other channels. (Twilio)

85. Text messaging is the #1 business communication channel among Millennials. (Twilio)

86. 47% of consumers prefer using native SMS (including iMessage and Android Messages) to text with businesses, instead of using other apps. (Twilio)

Sources: FranchiseHelp and Text Request, Twilio

Texting vs Calling Preference

PC: FranchiseHelp

This one’s simple. People want to text with businesses! That’s why calls are ignored and other forms of communication are only used when absolutely necessary. The trouble is most businesses don’t have a way to handle text conversations (Text Request can help you with that).

If you want to provide great experiences for your customers, increase sales, bring in more referrals, etc., then you have to give your people what they want (before your competitors do). And what they want is to text.

How does texting affect college admissions?

87. 74% of college applicants opt in for texting with admissions counselors. (Mongoose, Presbyterian College, Higher Ed Live)

88. 81% of accepted college students opt in for texting with admissions counselors. (Mongoose, Presbyterian College, Higher Ed Live)

89. 92% of accepted and confirmed college applicants opt in for texting with admissions counselors. (Mongoose, Presbyterian College, Higher Ed Live)

90. Two thirds (⅔) of incoming college students and their parents find text messages with key information or important dates helpful. (University Business)

91. College and university financial aid officers say texts are the most effective method in their communications tool box. (University Business)

92. Text messaging incoming students has been shown to increase college enrollment by 11%. (University Business)

93. 86% of prospective students say text messages from colleges and universities have prompted them to complete a task they hadn’t done yet. (Ben Castleman and Lindsay Page, AdmitHub)

94. 85% of prospective students say text messages from colleges and universities have informed them of something they didn’t realize they needed to do. (Ben Castleman and Lindsay Page, AdmitHub)

95. 84% of prospective students say text reminders are useful for helping them complete the college admissions process. (Ben Castleman and Lindsay Page, AdmitHub)

Sources: Mongoose, Presbyterian College, and Higher Ed Live; University Business; Ben Castleman and Lindsay Page, AdmitHub

Texting for College Admissions

In general, teens are glued to their phones but don’t answer calls. They also tend to be forgetful (and might not understand everything that goes on in the college admissions process). That’s why texting them about important dates and other admissions details can have such a big impact.

A couple of personalized texts from your office can be the difference between a young adult who attends college and one who doesn’t. How’s that for impact?

Related: CustomViewbook, Text Request Partner in Higher Education Technology

How is text messaging used in business communications?

96. Only 48% of businesses are currently equipped to communicate with customers via text. (Twilio)

97. 85% of consumers want to be able engage in text conversations with a business - not just receive information. (Twilio)

98. SMS/Text is the most requested channel for business use. (Smarsh, Wealth Management)

99. 84% of businesses use or plan to use texting in their sales and marketing efforts. (Salesforce)

100. At least 79% of bosses support texting for business purposes. (RingCentral, Text Request)

Sources: Twilio, Smarsh and Wealth Management, Salesforce, RingCentral and Text Request

 

Texting is used for all sorts of things in business - and in every department. Businesses text to generate new leads and to follow-up with leads. They text to re-engage past customers and to share promotions.

Businesses text to give updates, to provide customer service, and for plenty of other reasons, too. Texting’s a common and flexible communication tool, so businesses use it to communicate for all the reasons they might need.

How does text message engagement compare to other forms of communication?

101. People send 5X more texts every day than they make phone calls. (Text Request)

102. 95% of texts from businesses are read within 3 minutes of being sent. (Forbes)

103. 82% of short code texts from businesses are read within 5 minutes of being sent. (Flowroute)

Top Business Communication Channels

PC: Flowroute

104. The lifetime text message subscriber opt out rate is only 4.87%. (Text Request)

105. 82% of people keep notifications turned on for SMS messages. (Twilio)

106. The average response time for a text message is only 90 seconds. (CTIA, HubSpot)

107. The average response time for a text message is 6,000% (60X) faster than email. (CTIA, HubSpot)

Sources: Text Request, Forbes, Flowroute, Twilio, CTIA and HubSpot

People generally engage with text messages more than emails, phone calls, ads, and direct mail. But that doesn’t mean you should only ever text.

Texting works great as a lay-up tool. You text to set up a call, to let someone know you just sent them an email with important info, to share a link to your latest blog post, to ask for online reviews, etc.

Think of texting as the wing man to your sales, marketing, and service goals. It gets you in the door, but you still need good communication skills and processes to accomplish your goals.

Related: How to Write Professional Text Messages Your Customers Will Love